With news on: Pembrokeshire begins HWRC bag checks; Luton hails fortnightly collection switch; Viridor processes seaweed alongside garden waste; FEAD releases packaging directive position paper.
Pembrokeshire begins HWRC bag checks
A new scheme has begun today (3 June) at six Pembrokeshire HWRCs involving checks on residual waste to ensure that recyclable materials are not being disposed of.
As part of the initiative, residents bringing general waste bags to the county’s waste and recycling centres will be asked by staff to open bags to see if any of the items inside are recyclable.
Staff at the centres (at Crane Cross, Waterloo, Winsel, Hermon, Manorowen and St Davids) have been handing out leaflets and talking to residents about the scheme.
If any recyclable materials are found householders “will be asked to remove them and simply place them in the recycling containers,” the council has said.
Commenting on the initiative, Cllr Cris Tomos, the council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “A staggering 40% of the general waste brought to the centres can be recycled.
“We’re looking forward to working with householders to divert this material to the appropriate recycling containers.”
Cllr Cris Tomos added that householders could help by sorting out their waste before arriving at the centres.
“If you’re not sure what can be recycled, then simply place the items loose in your vehicle, or if you prefer, in open containers, and our staff can advise you and let you know where the suitable recycling facilities are on the site,” he said.
Luton hails fortnightly collection switch
Luton borough council has said that a move to alternate weekly collections of residual waste and recycling has contributed to a drop in residual waste, with recycling increasing by 6%.
At the end of 2018, the council moved to alternate weekly collections and also trialled food waste collections in some areas in February.
This saw around 100 tonnes of food waste collected “with the wasted food taken to anaerobic digestion facilities to be processed and spread on land and used for generating electricity.”
Cllr Tom Shaw, portfolio holder for waste said: “The reduction in general waste is so important because it costs us far more to get rid of and we are delighted that our recycling rate – currently at 34% – continues to rise which means we are getting closer to our 50% recycling aim.
“People are recycling more in their green bins, blue glass boxes and brown bins and of the 325 large households visited by our waste advisors, only 51 larger bins have been delivered as people understand how to manage their rubbish”.
Viridor processes seaweed alongside garden waste
Resources firm Viridor has taken 65 tonnes of seaweed on two slipways operated by the Torpoint ferry over the course of a year, processing the material alongside garden waste as part of a new initiative.
The material is used as an agricultural fertiliser through a partnership involving Viridor, Bragg Contracting, and Tamar Crossings on farmland in the local area.
The Torpoint Ferry, jointly owned by Cornwall council and Plymouth city council provides crossings for up to 8,000 vehicles and 1,500 pedestrians each day.
The seaweed project is part of the ‘zero to landfill’ waste collection and recycling contract for non-hazardous waste awarded to Viridor by the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee in December 2017.
The composting procedure for the seaweed involves hand and mechanical sorting to remove any contamination before mixing the seaweed with green waste from Plymouth and West Devon councils.
Material is put through a shredder, turning and screening the mix over a two-week period and monitoring the temperature to ensure it reaches above the 65C required to achieve sanitisation.
A further 10 weeks of monitoring and turning is then needed for stabilisation before the product is ready to use. A 40mm fertiliser is produced for arable farming and 20mm for grassland.
Lee Gomersall, key account manager at Viridor, said “The seaweed must be collected and removed. It cannot be returned to the sea because it may have picked up contamination, including additional waste materials, such as plastics, but we all recognise the important properties seaweed offers and it was vital to find a way to retain this and put it to good use.”
FEAD releases packaging directive position paper
FEAD, the European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services, has presented its position paper on the framework of the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
The four-page document outlines the body’s opinion on various measures outlined in the directive, which was released earlier this year.
This includes favouring the development of a common label showing the percentage of recyclable content in plastic packaging to “build trust” between consumers and plastic, and also the use of bio-based plastics, as long as they are not promoted at the expense of recycled plastics.
FEAD also called for a clearer definition of what constitutes ‘recycled’ content within packaging.
“In the essential requirements of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, it is crucial that the definition of ‘recyclable’ is made clear. Indeed, material that is technically recyclable is not necessarily recycled for economical reasons, conferring a potentially false impression that the packaging will be recycled,” the body explained.
FEAD is the European federation representing the private waste and resource management industry across Europe.